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First Look at Monica's Nueva Cocina and ME Lounge

Monica Greene, former owner of Monica's Aca Y Alla, now Maracas Mexican Restaurant, debuted her new restaurant and lounge last night. Monica's Nueva Cocina and ME Lounge, located in the iLume on Cedar Springs Road, has all the trappings of both a restaurant and a nightclub. The space is colorful, adorned with swirling mood lighting and eclectic decor.

Diners (or drinkers) have two bars to choose from (both can be accessed from inside or outside on the patio) where they can sip on signature drinks like the avocado margarita, or if they're feeling thrifty, house margaritas are $3.50 all day, every day. And they're strong, too. Gloria's strong.

The menu offers everything from seared duck breast to street tacos to sushi (yes, sushi). Greene's business partners with Sushi Axiom, and there's a large sushi bar smack-dab in the center of ME Lounge.

There are more soft openings tonight and at 5 p.m Saturday, and the grand opening is August 7. We suggest getting there early if the soft opening is any indication of how busy it'll be. Check out more photos below.

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